Splinter of the Mind's Eye
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|Author||Alan Dean Foster|
|Publisher||Del Rey Books|
March 1, 1978
April 1, 1978
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
|Preceded by||From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker (1976)|
|Followed by||Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)|
Splinter of the Mind's Eye is a 1978 science fiction novel written by Alan Dean Foster. It takes place between A New Hope and its sequel The Empire Strikes Back. Originally published in 1978 by Del Rey, a division of Ballantine Books, it was the first original full-length Star Wars novel to be published after the release of the original Star Wars film.
The novel's principal characters are Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Darth Vader. The characters of Han Solo and Chewbacca do not appear, and Solo is only referred to by Luke Skywalker as "a pirate and a smuggler" whom he knows at the end of the book. The book was originally written to be filmed as a low-budget sequel to Star Wars if the original film was not a success.
In 1976, Alan Dean Foster was contracted to ghostwrite a novelization for Star Wars. Foster was given extensive access to the shooting and draft scripts, as well as early story treatments, for use as source material in fleshing out the novel. Elements of this are visible in the resulting novel, such as the prologue, which borrows the Journal of the Whills title from Lucas's original synopsis.
Foster's contract also required a second novel, to be used as a basis for a low-budget sequel to Star Wars in case the film was not successful. Though Foster was granted a great deal of leeway in developing the story, a key requirement was that many of the props from the previous production could be reused when shooting the new film. Foster's decision to place his story on a misty jungle planet was also intended to reduce set and background costs for a film adaptation. According to Foster, Lucas's only request upon inspecting the manuscript was the removal of a space dogfight undertaken by Luke and Leia before crash-landing on Mimban, which would have been effects-heavy and expensive to film.
The eponymous "Mind's Eye" of the story is a MacGuffin called the Kaiburr crystal. This was based on the "Kiber" crystal, a Force-amplifying talisman that was included in early drafts of the Star Wars story, but later eliminated by Lucas in favor of making the Force a more ethereal power. A “Kyber” Crystal is normally used to focus a lightsaber blade. These crystals were also used to create the Death Star’s energy beam, and presumably alongside quintessence in the Starkiller Base superlaser.
By the time the novel was published, Star Wars had broken records in box office receipts, and the film adaptation of Splinter of the Mind's Eye was abandoned in favor of Lucas' vision of a big budget sequel.
The book was later adapted as a graphic novel by Terry Austin and Chris Sprouse and published by Dark Horse Comics in 1996. It incorporated characters from The Empire Strikes Back who did not appear in the original novel.
- Splinter of the Mind's Eye, First Ed, Paperback, 1978. Alan Dean Foster, ISBN 0-345-32023-9
- Splinter of the Mind's Eye, First Ed, Hardback, 1978. Alan Dean Foster, ISBN 0-345-27566-7
- Splinter of the Mind's Eye, Book Club Ed, Hardback, 1978. Alan Dean Foster, Book Club # 2597